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January 01, 2007


As Curator of Experiments at the Royal Society of London, Robert Hooke (1635–1703) was too busy to have been considered a ‘geological traveller’. Yet he made fundamental geological observations whenever he did travel. He set these observations in a series of lectures he gave at the Royal Society over a period of some thirty years. These lectures were published posthumously by Richard Waller in 1705 as Lectures and Discourses of Earthquakes and Subterraneous Eruptions. Although his contemporary Nicolaus Stenonis, or Steno, has been recognized as the founder of geology, Hooke's more profound and compelling observations and explanations have been largely ignored by the geological community. There is also evidence that Hutton benefited considerably from Hooke's ideas.

Hooke's writings show that he derived many of his geological hypotheses from his intimate knowledge of the processes taking place on the shores of his birthplace, the Isle of Wight. This paper presents what Hooke observed and described and is illustrated with photos taken by the author on the shores of the Isle of Wight.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Four Centuries of Geological Travel: The Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle, Sledge and Camel

P. N. Wyse Jackson
P. N. Wyse Jackson
Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
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Geological Society of London
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January 01, 2007




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